Texas-based design firm Atellani has created Bluetooth-connected sunglasses that let users take phone calls and listen to music without earphones – even in noisy environments.
Buhel Soundglasses use bone conduction technology to transmit sound directly to the inner ear through the bones of the skull. By bypassing the eardrum, users can remain aware of surrounding noise, while clearly hearing sound from their connected devices.
The glasses connect with smartphones, tablet computers and GPS units, which can be controlled with integrated buttons in the frame as well as voice commands, thanks to a noise-cancelling microphone in the nose bridge.
Atellani has raised more than 400% of its $80,000 goal on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, with 10 days remaining. Early backers can get a pair for $125, but details of final pricing have not been announced. The product is due to be shipped in late June 2015.
The success of the campaign reflects growing consumer interest in "hearables" (smart earbuds) and smart glasses, despite Google Glass' dwindling popularity. See Sony's Smart Glass Clip-On, Luxottica & Intel's Fashion-Tech Hook-Up and CES 2015: Personal Electronics for more.